WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky (LEX 18) Friends of a Lexington man who drowned over the weekend in Whitley County are trying to raise money to get his body back to his family in Mexico.
Officials said that 42-year-old Alfonso Sanchez-Gonzalez was swimming in the Laurel Lake Spillway on Saturday.
Witness told Fish and Wildlife that the man had been under the water for about eight minutes when they arrived.
Sanchez-Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the hospital. His friends say that he was loved and a very helpful person.
"The things he enjoyed in life were really very simple. Just being with people," said his friend, Alan Handleman.
Handleman told LEX 18 that he met Sanchez-Gonzalez several years ago in a restaurant and Sanchez-Gonzalez immediately made him part of the family.
"It’s the way that he reached out and brought people together. He brought people together from diverse cultures and diverse backgrounds," said Handleman.
Handleman tells LEX 18 that many friends have come together to surround Sanchez-Gonzalez’s wife, Oraila, with love.
"The word in Spanish is ‘convivir’ which means to live together, just to be together with people to spend time with people in a caring sort of way and that’s what his whole life was about," said Handleman.
It will cost $6,000 to send his body to his family in Mexico. To donate to the GoFundMe, click here.